More than 130 human trafficking victims were rescued during a midnight raid by officials on a cruise ship docked in Bataan, in the Philippines.
At 1am on Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard and the National Bureau of Immigration boarded the MV Forever Lucky and rescued 139 undocumented Filipinos who were illegally recruited from different provinces in the Philippines, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
Armand Balilo, spokesman for the Philippine Coast Guard, alleged that the 139 Filipinos were made to work on the cruise ship, which is en-route to Micronesia.
Balilo also said that 41 crew members who were involved in trafficking the victims were also apprehended.
The crew members allegedly falsified permits and were not able to present a certificate of public convenience and franchise papers. The cruise ship was also not issued with a franchise to travel outside the Philippines.
“Investigation is ongoing for filing of necessary charges against persons behind this illegal activity,” Balilo was quoted as saying.